Tuesday, July 25, 2006

F is for Frivolous

My apologies for my long hiatus. I was depressed, and couldn't face the fight for a while. I am still not sure how much posting I am going to do here, but I need to return to it, it is a needed ministry.

Personally, I remain chronically under-employed per the court system, while my ex remains very well employed and only having our children part of the time, while probation sucks 65% of my income away to enable her to enjoy a 100k$+ per year lifestyle.

Another court date looms, but I have no expectation of relief. I will again hear the broken record of the court system stating that 'unemployment and underemployment are no grounds for reduction in alimony or child support'.

The fact that I have my children half the time, and the fact that I live at or below the poverty level, will have no bearing, nor will her luxuriant lifestyle and income.

What promted me to post today, and inspired my title was Glenn Sacks writing to let us know that Matt Dubay has been denied his effort to get something resembling 'choice' or 'equal rights' for men. For those who don't want to click through to read, Matt was unhappy to be stuck with a $500/month support bill for a child he didn't want, from a girl who swore that she was physically incapable of having a child. So he sought some equal representation under the law. Fairness.

See, a woman can choose birth control, like a man, but here is where the similarity ends. Once conception occurs, a woman can choose:
To have a 'morning after' abortion by taking a pill or a shot.
To have abortions at later phases of the pregnancy.
To abandon the child without liability at a police station, hospital, etc.
To put the child up for adoption

But for some reason this lack of responsibility is only for people who have vaginas.

You can't choose like Eve, unless you can concieve.

The court, however, was having nothing of this outrageous 'equality of the sexes' claptrap.
U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson dismissed the case without it even being heard.
Lawson called the suit "frivolous, unreasonable and without foundation."

Yes, equality for men is certainly without any standing in the family court system. No news here, nothing to see, move on, move on....

Dubay says that he may continue to fight, but we all know how difficult it is to fight city hall. I pray that he does, and that he gets more of a hearing than he did from the misandrous Judge Lawson.

I wonder though. If Dubay underwent a sex-change operation... ...Could he merely claim that he wanted to exercise his right to coose?

Now, let me take Glenn Sacks to task - consider this comment from his newsletter:

I don't consider Dubay's conduct particularly admirable, and he ain't father of the year. However, he does have a good point. And it is also appropriate to question the conduct of his child's mother, Lauren Wells. Everyone is angry at Dubay for not wanting to pay child support, but why is it that nobody chastises Wells for bringing a child into such an unenviable situation?

Let's get to the point. Dubay never wanted to be father of the year. The man didn't want to be a father, period. His genetic material was used, against his will, to make a child. Now the person who stole and misused his genetic material is enslaving him, and the court thinks that this is o.k. He gets to fork over money to a lying, stealing, and misappropriating ex-girlfriend to support her lifestyle for the next 18 or more years and is told that asking to be treated at least as well as a woman would be in the same situation is 'frivolous' and has 'no standing'.

This man is not to be criticized because he didn't stand up and say 'I want to be a hero - I want to act like a true father even though I conciously decided that this was not the right thing for me.' (Never mind that the court only wants his money, not him as a father.) He should be honored for recognizing his limits and calling. Which was not to be scammed into fatherhood.

One of the big problems with seeking rights for men, is that there is this concept that men should be held to a higher standard - that men should always be the hero. Men are just people like women are - and the two sexes need to be held to the same standard.

It's called E-QUAL-I-TY. EQUALITY. Practice saying it. No one is expected to be a hero. Everyone is held to the SAME standard.

Saying that Dubay is 'not father of the year' when he was defrauded of his chance at having his children be legitimate - when his genetic material was stolen and used to create a child against his will - is not helpful.

Glenn goes on to make another similar faux-pas in his newsletter - arguing against accontability for how child support is spent (never mind alimony).

"'There is no accountability for how the money is used. They [mothers] use it on hairdressers, fingernails, the new boyfriend,' said Philip Lutz, a Center City father of one who heads Philadelphia's chapter of Fathers' and Children's Equality, which lobbies for equal custody and offers support groups for noncustodial parents."

This is a poor argument. Most divorced or separated mothers aren't wasting child support on luxuries. They have a right to enjoy life, and shouldn't have to account to their ex-husbands or anybody else for every dime they spend. There certainly are exceptions, of course, when the mothers really are wasting the money and the children's needs are not being met. In such cases courts can and should intervene. But the average divorced mother getting $1,000 a month in child support is not living high on the hog any more than the average divorced dad is living it up with his Porsche and trophy wife.

Again Glenn is trying to be 'reasonable' and living to a standard that ignores the reality of the situation. In my and many, many other men's support/alimony lives we find ourselves reduced to abject poverty, poverty that Glenn recognizes elsewhere in his newsletter, while the woman who we support spends her money on trips and luxuries - not on necessities for the kiddoes. I know men who live in their car, who go from day to day trying to scrape together enough for food. Accountability would be a welcome first step - and let us not forget those women who get preganant for the specific purpose of 'locking in' a man. It happens, and frequently. And if the first man isn't successful enough, they lie and name another. What was the statistic of women who would lie to get pregnant? Somewhere like 60%, as I recall.

Accountability and responsibility are the keywords here. Women need, first of all, to be held responsible for their actions. And this means supporting THEIR OWN children. If they want a man to help, they have to work to keep him around. If the court system is going to make men (and far too often random men) slaves to women who purportedly had children with them, then they AT LEAST should ensure that the women actually spend the money on necessities for the children. Why not have the men pay into the food-stamp program, and give the women food-stamps to help feed the kids? If we are going to enslave men, it sounds like one way to be sure we aren't rewarding criminal women for their crime. Which is what we do now.

And Glenn - get over the hero thing. It's soo 1950s.

My best to you in your struggles.


Previously on this topic: R is for Roe-v-Wade for Men

Update: Fundamentalist WingNut quips:

Remember "every child, a wanted child"? Let's apply that equally.
I had totally forgotten that slogan. My-oh-my how the times have changed!

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